The Wheel, a name used far more than Space Station W3 in The Wheel in Space and in Zoe's Companion Chronicles
Talk about it here.
Structure[edit | edit source]
The Wheel was a colossal station resembling a spinning top, having a superstructure shaped like a saucer with supporting framework beneath. Within the upper section of the Wheel was a hatch which could be opened to reveal the x-ray laser, a massive metal tube which looked like the muzzle of a gun. (PROSE: The Wheel in Space)
The Operations and Communications Room (TV: The Wheel in Space) served as the control room and was brightly lit with a semi-circular control station large enough for a number of communications officers, technicians and a dedicated chair for the controller. In a sectioned-off area was where the laser was prepared. (PROSE: The Wheel in Space)
The Wheel had a large medical section. About eight sections on, on the other side of the Wheel, was the Parapsychology Library, (TV: The Wheel in Space) a completely bare room with a semi-circular desk at which the librarian sat. (PROSE: The Wheel in Space) The power room contained the laser's capacitator bank, anti-magnetic field generators and a mini-greenhouse with rows of extraterrestrial plants. (TV: The Wheel in Space)
The crew had their own quarters, with Dr Gemma Corwyn's being decorated in pastel colours and doubling-up as her consulting room in her capacity as psychiatrist. Other locations included the generator area, the computer section, the astro-navigational guidance complex and the space meteorology area. (PROSE: The Wheel in Space)
Function[edit | edit source]
The Wheel served a number of functions, the most significant of which included acting as a radio-visual relay for Earth, a halfway house for long-distance spacecraft, a station for space research and as a stellar early warning system for potentially dangerous space phenomena. It was armed with an x-ray laser which was used to destroy meteorites and had a force field to protect itself. (TV: The Wheel in Space)
History[edit | edit source]
The Wheel was in operation by 2000, (TV: The Mind Robber; AUDIO: Prison in Space) 2079 (AUDIO: The Dying Light) or later (PROSE: The Indestructible Man) and was located between 24,564,000 and 161,350,000 miles from Venus. It was run by Controller Jarvis Bennett who once "kicked up a dust storm" upon finding that technician Bill Duggan had made his own greenhouse in the power room. Dr Gemma Corwyn, however, was able to convince him that it was good therapy for Bill.
Three years after the death of Dr Corwyn's husband, the Cybermen planned to use the Wheel as a beacon for an invasion fleet to rob Earth of its minerals. To this end, the Cybermen launched Cybermats to ruin the Wheel's stores of Bernalium before causing Hercules 208 to go nova, forcing the crew to take boxes containing Bernalium, with Cybermen beneath a false bottom, from the deserted Silver Carrier. Although they were successful in this, they were ultimately thwarted thanks to the Second Doctor, with the x-ray laser destroying the Cyber-ship and Sean Flannigan using the force field to defeat those in the process of infiltrating the loading bay. (TV: The Wheel in Space)
Zoe Heriot was returned to the Wheel by the Time Lords (TV: The War Games) after two years of travelling with the Doctor and Jamie McCrimmon (AUDIO: Legend of the Cybermen) with her memory of her adventures wiped. She was reunited with Tanya Lernov and went with her to return the Wheel to normal operations. (TV: The War Games) She became aware that she had physically aged and guessed that she had had her mind wiped.
Months after Zoe's return to the Wheel, a second attack by the Cybermen occurred, during which Captain Leo Ryan was captured and converted. Zoe was taken to become a Cyber-Planner and, during the process, remembered her adventures in the TARDIS. She used her newfound control of the Cyber-fleet to direct them away from the Wheel and Earth to the Land of Fiction and was, after the Cybermen's defeat, returned by the Sixth Doctor. (AUDIO: Legend of the Cybermen).
Crew[edit | edit source]
The controller of the Wheel was Jarvis Bennett. His second-in-command was Dr Gemma Corwyn, (TV: The Wheel in Space) the medical officer and psychiatrist. (PROSE: The Wheel in Space) Following both of their deaths, Captain Leo Ryan, a communications officer, assumed command. (TV: The Wheel in Space)
Enrico Casali was, like Ryan, a communications officer. Technicians included Chang, Elton Laleham, Kemel Rudkin, Armand Vallance and Sean Flannigan, although the latter also served as a security guard. Tanya Lernov was an astrologer (PROSE: The Wheel in Space) or astrogator whilst Zoe Heriot worked in the Parapsychology Library in a capacity best described as a librarian and serving as an astrometricist and second opinion. (TV: The Wheel in Space)